Most of my press cars recently have been experienced in more exotic locals then the already lovely area of Middle Tennessee where I live. First the Lexus RC-F in Colorado Springs, and then on our trip to California just a few weeks ago, Mercedes-Benz was willing to give me some California camouflage. And by camouflage, I mean the $173,000 Mercedes G-Wagon AMG.
The G-Wagen has been a dream car of mine for quite a while now and after the first Instagram post of our G63 in the Malibu Canyons, I knew I was not alone. Both the wife and I had direct messages and text of our friends telling us how jealous they were that driving the car they have always wanted. These people could care less about cars, but the G-Wagon was a different story.
Walking up to the G63 for the first time was an experience in itself. Arriving at LAX near midnight we were exhausted, but seeing the “Olive” green AMG for the first time was a wake up call we needed. Sitting in the valet spot of the airport parking it was perfect. We had no clue what color Mercedes we were going to be driving but seeing that green under those lights, it could not have been more perfect. During our four days in Santa Monica, we saw every color of G-Wagon Mercedes has ever made, but only one other Olive and it was the only one that really made both the wife and I say “yep, that is the color”. While the 22” wheels and bull bumper on the front may seem excessive, the G would not be a G without it. The G is excessive in every way and that is why people love it. Turning it one was the second wake up. Hitting the start button filled the parking garage with a loud roar followed by unnecessary cracks and growls that AMG is so known for. Did we have a problem with it? Absolutely not.
The G63 AMG is not only excessive in looks, but the sheer numbers that surround it. Despite the aluminum fenders, doors and hood, this beast still weighs around 5800lbs. With that weight and the AMG, crazy power is expected. Well, crazy power is exactly what the 4.0L BiTurbo engine Mercedes and AMG bestowed upon the G63 provides. 577 combined with an incredible 627 lb-ft of torque can take that crazy heft to 60 MPH in only 4.5 seconds. For comparison, that is a full second faster than the 2018 G63 AMG powered by the 5.5L Biturbo V8 and a faster 0-60 than most cars much lighter and aerodynamic. This horsepower does come at an efficiency cost though, granted it is a cost people who can afford the $170k price tag might not notice. Over our 1111 mile road trip we saw an average of 13.5 MPG. In a state like Texas where gas is cheap this might not be a big deal. But in California where gas is notoriously expensive, our bill ended up near $350 for ten days. The G-Wagon is not known for its efficiency in the first place, but I definitely take some responsibility as the noise made by the right pedal was too good to waste. Combine that with wear and tear on 22” tires and you better have a millionaires budget to afford to drive it on the regular.
As far as driving sensation, the G is miles ahead of the last generation. The only thing that reminded me that this was in fact a barn shaped vehicle(that weighs the same) and not something much smaller was the squealing of the tires and tinge f hot brake smell in the air. In fact, I would say the only limiting factor was the tires. The chassis itself is worth the money let alone all the power that comes with it. This vehicle, that can ford nearly 28” of water and climb up a 45 degree angle with its triple locking differential, can also keep up with many sports cars in the corners. The G is the king of capability.
It’s also the king of bringing two groups that typically despise each other together. The G brought out laughs from the wife as we kept up through the Malibu Canyons with our friends driving a BMW Z4, Golf R, Miata, and Ferrari 348. We were not the only ones though. Bicycle riders tend to have an intense disdain for automobiles enjoying the same road as the. But seeing the G-Wagon following this misfit band of cars temporarily changed their minds. We saw bicyclist break their necks, all with a giant grin on their face as we made our way up the mountain, opposite of them. Seeing a truck that big and that impractical seaming making its way up just like it was something its not made their day and I’m happy for it.
The G’s prowess does not end their though. After spending hundreds of miles on the freeways, interstates, and backroads never once did either of us get out sore, tired or just plain worn out of being in the G63. Between heated and cooled massaging seats, a wonderful audio system, the clean interior feel, the over the road presence, and general comfort the G Wagon made for one of the best road trip vehicles ever. On top of this, you could comfortably sit four adults while still carrying four more large suitcases behind them. The length made for easy parking in the notoriously tight Los Angeles area with only the very tall roof(nearly six and a half feet tall) giving us a sense of problems in some parking garages. The biggest complaint we had ended in an argument of vanity or comfort as the 22” wheels had very thin rubber. These wheels look great but transmitted lots of the smaller bumps and cracks into the cabin while larger bumps were able to be sorted out by the absolutely fantastic suspension.
So how did this week cost me over ⅓ of a Million dollars? Well, my spouse and I were already fans of the G-Wagon styling and general aura, but 10 days in the $170,000 G63 AMG has shown us we need two. My wife who is perfectly content with her 2009 Lexus RX350 will typically only point out the occasional NA Miata with its cute little popup headlights or FJ40 Land Cruiser seeing as my family owns one and they are quite recognizable but recently, it has been nothing but G-Wagon, G-Wagon, G-Wagon. “I missed the G-Wagon today while driving to work” or “I saw this really cool G-Wagon today”, or just “G-Wagon!” while driving down the road. That pretty much summarizes what the Mercedes G-Wagon means to people. It’s a dream car for people who do and don’t care about cars. The last generation was for all intensive purposes a pretty terrible vehicle to drive but people still bought it. Mercedes realized the market and has since turned it into a square S-Class. Now what is there to even beat it?